Is the Orthographic/Phonological Onset a Single Unit in Reading Aloud?

Petroula Mousikou*, Max Coltheart, Steven Saunders, Lisa Yen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

11 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Two main theories of visual word recognition have been developed regarding the way orthographic units in printed words map onto phonological units in spoken words. One theory suggests that a string of single letters or letter clusters corresponds to a string of phonemes (Coltheart, 1978; Venezky, 1970), while the other suggests that a string of single letters or letter clusters corresponds to coarser phonological units, for example, onsets and rimes (Treiman & Chafetz, 1987). These theoretical assumptions were critical for the development of coding schemes in prominent computational models of word recognition and reading aloud. In a reading-aloud study, we tested whether the human reading system represents the orthographic/phonological onset of printed words and nonwords as single units or as separate letters/phonemes. Our results, which favored a letter and not an onset-coding scheme, were successfully simulated by the dual-route cascaded (DRC) model (Coltheart, Rastle, Perry, Langdon, & Ziegler, 2001). A separate experiment was carried out to further adjudicate between 2 versions of the DRC model.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)175-194
Number of pages20
JournalJournal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance
Volume36
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2010

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